Support of the National Coral Reef Management Fellowship Program

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Wendy Wood-Derrer

Colleges / Centers

Halmos College of Arts and Sciences


U.S. Department of the Interior

Start Date



Building upon the success of the past two successful cohorts of Coral Fellows, the National Coral Reef Management Fellowship Program – Year 1, (2020-2022 Fellowship) will continue this program by supporting two-year positions in each of the seven U.S. coral reef jurisdictions. In addition to improving the health of coral reef ecosystems and combat evasive species in the U.S. insular areas for their long-term economic and social benefit, the Program addresses both current capacity gaps, as well as builds longer-term capacity by placing highly qualified individuals whose education and work experience meet each jurisdiction’s specific coral reef management needs. The Coral Fellowship program was identified by the insular areas as their highest priority for funding from DOI and NOAA in the 2019-2020 grant cycle. After extensive discussion and review, the vision for this revitalized program is to develop “A thriving collaborative fellowship program that builds excellent next generation leaders and capacity for effective local coral reef ecosystem management.” As the onslaught of invasive species, such as Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) and the resulting coral degradation continues, this program is timelier than ever in addressing the threats these species are to coral reef ecosystems and their management and conservation. This program will continue to be a partnership among the U.S. Department of Interior Office of Insular Affairs (DOI OIA), NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (NOAA CRCP), and the U.S. Coral Reef All Islands Committee (US AIC). Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI) proposes to administer the Program.

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